I was lucky enough to meet and in varying degrees to get to know all four of my grandparents. I know this is something not all people get to do so I count myself lucky. On Wednesday I said goodbye to the last of them.

 

I have to be honest and say that I have never felt such shame in a family than I did on Wednesday. My gran left behind five living children and not one of them went to her funeral. There were varying excuses and some that simply did not want to attend but regardless of reason or excuse I know it is a choice they should live to regret.

 

I had tried to write the way I normally do about this but nothing sounded right and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say (still aint). I guess it just struck me as sad. I kept thinking what could have happened to these people to make them that bitter that they would not even say goodbye to their own mother. Surely regardless of their individual issues with each other, they could find it within them to put it aside for 30mins and , for want of a better way of saying it, show some respect. But no apparently that would be asking too much.

 

Anyway enough of that. As I sat on the pew, the lone representative of my immediate family, I tried to focus on the times I spent with her and the memories I will always have. Like the way she constantly referred to an ex of mine as Bella even though she knew her name was Ella, because “Bella sounds nicer”. How regardless of age she was always full of mischief and winding people up, forever with a conspiratorial wink. That when I went to stay with her and granddad during the summer holidays we would always play along with countdown of channel 4, only once did I get the 9 letter conundrum it was spaghetti. Silly little things I know but sometimes its the silly little things that make you smile the most.

 

I have often been heard to say that I have the greatest friends any man could hope for and once again they have proven this point. If at any stage over the last few weeks I lost faith in the idea of family, they were always there without being asked to show me that the family you choose is every bit as real as the family you are born in to.

 

 

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